Ducks Blank Portland State, 41-0
Sept. 21, 2002
EUGENE, Ore.- Oregon coach Mike Bellotti doesn't believe the Ducks have played their best game yet.
It took a while for the ninth-ranked Ducks to warm up offensively Saturday before cruising to a 41-0 win over Division I-AA Portland State.
'I'm happy with the fact that we're 4-0, but we weren't as consistent as I would have liked,' Bellotti said. 'I still don't think we played as well as we could have.'
It was the first time the Ducks (4-0) shut out an opponent since November 1992, when they beat archrival Oregon State 7-0 during a driving rainstorm. Portland State (2-1) filled in for Michigan, which rescheduled its game for 2007.
Fife easily drove the Ducks 60 yards in nine plays on the team's first scoring drive, setting up Jared Siegel's field goal. But Oregon struggled through the rest of the period.
The Ducks didn't score again until there was 1:03 left in the quarter, when Fife threaded a 31-yard scoring pass to Samie Parker through heavy traffic.
Smith scored on runs of 25 and 3 yards and became the first Oregon player to gain at least 100 yards in thefirst four games of the season. He finished with 115 yards rushing.
'After being held down for so long with my hamstring injury, it felt good,' Smith said. 'When I got to the sideline, I told coach I was back.'
Portland State was shut out for the first time since losing 46-0 to Idaho in 1996, the year the Vikings moved up from Division II.
'I don't think we were overwhelmed at all by the crowd or anything else,' Portland State coach Tim Walsh said. 'We were overwhelmed by our field position and the one thing we didn't account for was how windy it can get here and that didn't help us any.'
Ryan Fuqua, who entered the game leading Division I-AA with an average of 174.5 yards rushing, carried 24 times for 88 yards.
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'They're a top team in Division I, but a loss is a loss, whether it's by one point or a shutout,' Fuqua said. 'I wish we could have made it more interesting.'
Fife went 13-of-20 for 179 yards, including the TD to Parker and another to tight end George Wrighster from 4 yards out in the fourth.
Siegel also kicked the longest field goal of his career, just clearing the crossbar from 52 yards out with a strong wind at his back.
Portland State quarterback Juston Woods was 14-of-27 for 134 yards and two interceptions, while kicker Mike Cajal-Willis had a field-goal attempt blocked by Oregon linebacker Kevin Mitchell, who also sacked Woods for a fumble.
Fife had one turnover, fumbling after he was sacked in the third quarter by Vikings linebacker Tolo Tuitele.
By WILLIAM McCALL
Associated Press Writer